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Commercial red drum open for second harvest period

North Carolina Marine Fisheries Proclamation FF-31-2021 opened the commercial red drum fishery in North Carolina Coastal Fishing Waters, effective at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday, May 1, 2021.

The daily harvest limit is seven red drum taken in a commercial fishing operation, regardless of the number of individuals or vessels involved.

Possession of red drum is tied to landing, possessing and transporting flounder, bluefish, black drum or stripped mullet. The combined daily catch of those species must exceed the weight of the red drum caught.

The proclamation states two standard commercial fishing license holders from separate commercial fishing operations may transport their daily landed catch of red drum and associated target species to the dealer in the same vehicle. A standard commercial fishing license holder from each operation must accompany each single harvest limit until the time of sale to the dealer.

The proclamation states: “the intent of this proclamation is to manage the annual commercial harvest of red drum within the 250,000 pound cap implemented by Amendment 1 of the N.C. Red Drum Fishery Management plan. The commercial fishing year is September 1 through August 31. The first harvest period (150,000 pounds) of September through April was closed because the 150,000 pound limit was exceeded. The second harvest period (100,000 pounds) for May through August will now be reduced from 100,000 pound limit to account for any overages in the first harvest period and keep annual harvest below the 250,000 pound cap.”

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